Alioto v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 12-1201 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2000-2001Alioto spent several hundred thousand dollars of his own money on expenses relating to a new business (BRT) involving use of “celebrity talent” to create internet advertising. Alioto became involved in BRT after being approached by the actor, John Ratzenberger, and claims that he believed he would be reimbursed by Ratzenberger for funds expended on behalf of the business, but was never fully repaid. Alioto filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, listing $341,363 outstanding loans owed to him from BRT as part of his assets. Alioto sought to deduct the unreimbursed funds as losses for tax year 2005 and to carry forward some of these losses as deductions for tax years 2006 and 2007. The IRS denied the deductions and issued notices of deficiency. The Tax Court agreed. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, upholding determinations that any business losses occurred prior to 2005, 26 U.S.C. 165(a) and that the losses did not amount to theft under section 165 (e).